Worried about the language barrier? Don’t sweat it! All our guides speak English and Nepali and can help you find anything you need. But if you’re ready to take on a challenge, here is a crash course on the languages of Nepal as well as a few phrases that you can put to use.
Nepal is one of the most linguistically diverse countries in the world. There are 126 languages spoken across Nepal, which is about the size of Arkansas. The official language is Nepali, which is spoken by about 2/3 of the population.
The written language is called Devanagari. It is one of the most common scripts because it is also the written language for Hindi and is used across India. Like English, Devanagari is written left to right but rather than individual letters, it utilizes consonant-vowel units (e.x. प = pa).
A List of Useful Phrases in Nepali
Hello/Goodbye – “Namaste”: This literally means “God is in you” and is typically said with the hands in prayer position and the head bowed forward
Thank You – “Dhanyabaad”
My name is – “Mero naam (insert name) ho”
How are you/How are things? (informal) – “thik chha?”
I am well/Things are good – “thik chha”
See you again – “pheri bhetaula”
I don’t understand – “maile bujhina”
I’m full – “pugyo”: It is considered rude for a guest to leave hungry so use this when you have had enough
Afraid you might pronounce something wrong? Try it! People will be excited that you are making an effort and willing to overlook it when your grammar isn’t perfect.
Shuba-yatra! (Have a good trip!)